In a match where Virat Kohli failed to open his account, AB de Villiers’ 41-ball 89 propelled Royal Challengers Bangalore to a four-wicket triumph against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday evening. Such was the dominant character of the knock that a proud Kohli conceded de Villiers was indeed the “best in the world”.
While Kohli fell for a rare duck chasing Hyderabad’s 155/6, Man-of-the-Match de Villiers smashed six fours and eight sixes to leave Hyderabad bowlers in shambles. The eventual win propelled Royal Challengers Bangalore to the fourth spot in the Indian Premier League table. “He (de Villiers) is the best player in the world by far,” said Kohli at the post-match presentation. He has shown it every now and then, and he has shown it again why he is rated the number one in the world in any format.”
While Kohli is currently the best ODI batsman in the world as per ICC rankings, he has been engaged in a close battle with de Villiers to maintain his top-spot. On Sunday though, he had no reservations in hailing de Villiers’ heroics. “Today was one of the days we needed someone to win the game from that tough situation. (De Villiers’ was) One of the best innings in T20 I have seen, the way he was striking the ball under pressure.”
From 95/5 in 14.3, de Villiers led his team past the target with a ball still left. Going forward, Royal Challengers Bangalore would hope for a repeat performance en route to similar wins.